To Serve the People: Congress Agrees on New Debt Plan

BREAKING: Congress has agreed on a new debt ceiling plan! Huge savings will come through a Social Security and Medicare reform program that’s also eco-friendly. It’s called “Soylent Green.” Obama: “We’ve always known that the solution to these problems lies in the American people themselves.” Details to follow.

The Black Legend: Guy Fawkes Night and the Persecution of English Catholics

In the Reformation, religious controversy and gunpowder mixed together on a large scale. Previous religious disputes involved swords, catapults, burnings at the stake, or sometimes just the pulling of beards and the smashing of wine bottles. In the 16th and 17th centuries, however, the whiff of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate became “the devil’s incense” for theological struggles. In the West, the blog posts have replaced cannonballs as tools of controversy. But in Great Britain on the fifth of November, Guy Fawkes Night keeps alive the memory of the era of “black powder theology.”

Robert Spencer and Guy Fawkes: What about the original 9-11?

Which makes one wonder what Bob Spencer thinks of Guy Fawkes. Fawkes’ plot, in relative terms, would have caused much more damage than 9-11 had it succeeded. Many today, including some Catholics, defend Fawkes, the way some “Polictically Correct” people defend Hamas and Hezbollah. So, I ask Mr. Spencer: What’s your position? Do you condemn “Gunpowder, Treason and Plot”, and the current pro-Guy Fawkes fad?

Finding Inner Peace In an Age of Strife: A Few Good Quotes

A friend of mine collected these. I find them helpful, and thought maybe others might find them helpful, too:
“What have I got to fear from my enemies? I carry my Paradise in my heart; it goes where I go.”- Ibn Taymiyya
“Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting such a hard battle.” – Philo Judaeus
“God made all of us, and we all come from one woman, sucked one bubby; we hope we shall not quarrel; that we shall talk until we get through.” -Chief Holata Mico to Gen. Wylie Thompson, Oct, 24,1834, in Seminole treaty negotiations
“Man never reaches so high an estate, as when he knows not whither he is going.”

Markets and the Real World

If … M├ędaille’s review does it justice, then How Markets Work should be in every progressive’s library. The reason is that it seems to offer a paradigm shift in thinking about how supply and demand determine prices and, most importantly of all, wages.

Kafka Goes to Canada: Ontario Passes Secret Police Powers for G-20 Summit

Guess what? Arizona is more liberal than Canada, or at least, the provincial government of Ontario. Ontario passed legislation giving police new identification-demand and search powers– and most disturbing of all, this legislation was passed in secret. At least in Arizona, SB1070 was debated and passed in public. From The Ottawa Citizen:
The Ontario government secretly passed legislation giving police sweeping new powers for the duration of the G8 and G20 summits.Police are now able to jail anyone who refuses to furnish identification and submit to a search while within five metres of a designated security zone in downtown Toronto.

Sufi Leader, Peacemaker Buried in Jerusalem

A Sufi leader who had worked for peace and interfaith understanding was able to continue that work even after his death. Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze gathered together for the funeral of Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari in Old City Jerusalem on June 1. His mourning tent received rabbis, priests, imams, and other visitors for three days. Sheikh Bukhari was the head of Naqshbandi Holy Land Sufi Order, and also the head of the Muslim Uzbek community in Jerusalem. He was a direct descendant of Imam Muhammad Ismail al-Bukhari, the most prominent compiler of hadith (oral traditions attributed to Muhammad (saws)) .

Important Report on Female Genital Mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan

Human Rights Watch has issued a comprehensive– and disturbing– report on female genital mutilation, aka female genital cutting, aka female circumcision, in Iraqi Kurdistan. I’ve written a story on the report at ILLUME Magazine (read it here). You can also read the full report from Human Rights Watch here. Briefly– it’s a widespread problem, affecting at least 40% of girls and women in different parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, and severely affecting their health. And the attitude of Kurdish officials?